Monthly Archives: August 2015

A Late Night Update & Some Photos

I gotta say — the newness of being diagnosed with ICP and the need for an early induction has worn off and I’m left with, well, itching. Lots and lots of itching. Thankfully it’s mainly just at night. The itching is unmistakable — sometimes it feels like bugs crawling under my skin, and other times it feels like I just got bitten by a fire ant (so I guess that would be bugs crawling above my skin). Usually it’s the later. I often do a double take to see if there’s an insect on my skin. It’s a very strong sensation, and it gets annoying very quickly!

So I am averaging 3-5.5 hours of sleep a night (please no one tell me that this is good preparation for those sleepless nights when the baby comes, because there are days that hearing that will only discourage me). I took a Benadryl last night and a cold shower and I was so happy to fall asleep rather early and get more sleep. But I don’t want to get in the habit of taking Benadryl every night (even if it is category B) so I will just have to live with the itching and save the Benadryl for when I’m in desperate need of sleep. I’m surviving, but it’s hard not to be frustrated at being up and awake, feeling recklessly itchy every night. It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve fallen asleep before midnight.

Thankfully, our little baby girl has looked awesome on every single NST so far. And I’m thankful (even though I’m scared) that she’ll be coming early. I have read in several places that the stillbirth rate of undiagnosed, untreated ICP is 15%. A scary-high statistic. Breathing a sigh of relief that I am both diagnosed AND being treated (with Ursodiol). From everything I’ve read, my OB is treating me appropriately and taking every precaution.

There are many things coming up that are out of my control. The induction is just 3 weeks away. I have no control over whether my body will be even slightly ready or not for labor (I’m guessing not). I have no control over my GBS status (to be determined at 35 weeks). I have no control over whether the induction will be another horror story, or whether (if I choose to get one) my epidural will actually be intact and working this time.

Surmounting all other unknowns, I have no control over how our baby will do. Will she latch on and nurse well? Will she breathe okay? Will she be jaundiced?

(This control freak doesn’t like uncertainty, apparently.)

The nurse setting up my NST the other day asked how long kick counts were taking, on average. “About 20 minutes, probably,” I replied. “Great” she said, “But if they take up to two hours, you go straight into L&D, okay? And even if you have to go into L&D every single day, no one will fault you for it. Cholestasis is no joke.” Gee, I thought, thanks for freaking me out, lady. When I got home from my appointment that day, I retold the conversation to my mom (who had been babysitting) and found myself suddenly holding back tears. I realized that I still felt scared for our baby, even though I was on medication that was supposed to decrease the risks and even though I had an early induction scheduled. Childbirth is already scary without complications, but the reality of having a high-risk pregnancy was hitting me that day like a ton of bricks. Thankfully, since then I’ve had time to process, to adjust my thinking and also my expectations for the next three weeks (as well as for our baby’s birth). Also, seeing as I’m up most nights, I’ve also had a lot of time to research and to know with more certainty what the risks truly are and what to expect.

I’ve also spent some time memorizing the following verses to meditate on during the next 3 weeks. I cannot tell you what peace Scripture and prayer have brought me:

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Isaiah 26:33 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

I know I’m not immune to struggles, fears, or life scenarios worse than I ever imagined. Being a Christian doesn’t mean life is easy in any way. But I do know this: No matter what happens, the Lord will be with me. He will give me grace to endure and a faith greater than an easy life could ever produce. So tonight as I stop typing intermittently because of this itchy skin, I have peace about our situation, and I have hope. I’ve gone from incredibly surprised (at being diagnosed with ICP) to incredibly scared to now just incredibly excited to meet our little girl. Peace in the midst of any trial is truly a gift from the Lord.

{Thanks for praying for our baby girl whom we are set to meet in just three weeks!}

And here’s some pictures from the past week…

The things that fascinate toddlers... it makes me laugh.

The things that fascinate toddlers. It makes me laugh.

Fruit snacks are the most amazing thing on the planet to this kid. I think he’s deciding which one to eat first  (big decision!).

Who says an 8 month pregnant mama won't get down on the kitchen floor and play with her toddler?

Who says an 8 month pregnant mama won’t get down on the kitchen floor and play with her toddler? (Now can someone please help me back up?)

Helping Daddy put together sister's new diaper pail.

Helping Daddy put together sister’s new diaper pail.

“What ELSE is in the box, Daddy?”

My creepy looking hand on an ice pack, which was keeping my palm from itching so much.

My creepy looking hand on an ice pack, which was keeping my palm from itching so much.

33 weeks pregnant. My mom has said twice now that my belly size has plateaued. Of course now that baby is coming early, I want to gain more weight and my belly to grow as much as possible. Oh, the irony,

33 weeks pregnant. My mom has said twice now that my belly size has plateaued. Of course now that baby is coming early, I really hope to gain more weight and want my belly to grow as much as possible. (Oh, the irony.)

My little guy. Love this kid to pieces, and trying to wrap my head around the fact that he's going to be a big brother in less than a month.

My little guy. Love this kid to pieces, and trying to wrap my head around the fact that he’s going to be a big brother in less than a month.

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Newborn Weight Predictor Equation

Seeing as our baby girl will be delivered early (36 weeks +2 day) for maternal cholestasis, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much she might weigh. I would love it if she she at least passes the 6 pound mark. I found this newborn weight predictor equation on W.ebMD from Duke University Medical Center. They claim that it is about as accurate as an estimated fetal weight via ultrasound (which, I hate to say, usually isn’t too accurate — although they say ultrasounds are within 8-15% of the actual newborn weight). There is an 8% error rate with this equation. All you have to do for this equation is convert some of your info if needed (such as height from inches to centimeters, and weight from pounds to kilograms, etc). and plug it in!

Here’s the equation they posted with some helpful info below (taken from W.ebMD’s website — link below):

Birth weight (g) = gestational age (days) x (9.38 + 0.264 x fetal sex + 0.000233 x maternal height [cm] x maternal weight at 26.0 weeks [kg] + 4.62 x 3rd-trimester maternal weight gain rate [kg/d]] x [number of previous births + 1]).

Pointers for performing the calculations:

  • Perform all multiplications before the additions.
  • Gestational age is the stage of your pregnancy in days, or days since the onset of your last normal menstrual period plus 14.
  • For fetal sex, use 1 for a boy, -1 for a girl, or 0 if sex is unknown.
  • For mother’s height, inches multiplied by 2.54 gives you centimeters.
  • For the mother’s weight, pounds divided by 2.2 gives you kilograms.
  • For the baby’s birth weight, take the number from your calculation and divide by 453 to get your baby’s estimated weight in pounds.

(Find the link to the article here.)

It’s kind of a long formula, but if you’re not a math lover don’t worry. You can actually plug in all your numbers and copy and paste it into google’s search bar and it will calculate for you.

The equation predicted that our baby would weigh 6.7 pounds, or just over 6 1/2 pounds. But then I plugged in all the info for our son Josh to see what it predicted his weight to be (which was 6 pounds 13 oz) and it came up with 7 1/2 pounds. So definitely not accurate in our case. But still fun to compute!

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6 Years

Our 6th year anniversary is today.

I always get nostalgic whenever I think back to our days of dating and then engagement. Not that our days are particularly dull now, but life felt like such a wild roller coaster back then.

I always liked my hubby, from the very first time I met him at a Bible study with our church. He was 20 (and I was 23). He was super skinny with curly black hair and talked passionately about math (he was taking ultra hard math classes at the time). That same evening at the Bible study he was asked to share some of his experiences from a recent missions trip to Russia, and he told a hilarious story about how he broke his foot while en route back to the U.S. He was hopping up and down on one leg to get his point across, and the whole room was laughing. This guy is funny and smart, I thought. Although it was just a first impression, I thought he was something special.

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Back then I was a newer nurse and trying to figure out if nursing was what I wanted to do with my life, especially when it meant working nights for several years. I went from working full time to part time so that I could go to Bible college in Southern California. After that I took a leave of absence from work so I could work for 3 months overseas at a medical missions clinic. I would occasionally see him at church and events during the summers and Christmas vacations. To pursue an electrical engineering degree, he had transferred from the local junior college to about 4 hours away to attend Cal Poly. I still had a crush on him, but our life paths were not intertwining much.

A few summers went by and only my two sisters and my friend Nina knew that I liked him. I wasn’t a boy-crazy type of girl at all, but I hoped and prayed that maybe he would take notice of me. It was June of 2008, and after Bible college and living overseas, I was back working full time at the hospital. Life had settled down a bit for me. He was still in college with another year to go to finish his degree. While I happened to be gone one week back packing in Yosemite, my friend Nina prayed about talking to him about me and told the Lord, “If you give me an opportunity at church tonight, I will speak up.”

{Just a side note. If I had known that my friend was ever even thinking about doing this, I would have adamantly said no and begged her not to– because at the time it would have incredibly embarrassed me and because I wanted him to pursue me, not the other way around. I didn’t want our friendship to become awkward. But now that we’ve been married 6 years, I’m thankful to my friend and not embarrassed at all.} 😉

Sure enough, after church that night she was given the opportunity to talk with him alone and basically challenged my guy to consider and pray about me. That was it. He stared at her like a deer caught in the headlights and said he would. He went home, talked with his dad about it, and began to pray.

I’m not sure what exactly was going through my hubby’s head at this point, but I think that after praying about it, his thought was “Why not, and just see how it goes?” This was a big step for him as he hadn’t dated anyone before me.

The very next week I was back from Yosemite and at church with my little sister. A group of us went out afterward to dinner at Mimi’s. When we were done with dinner and Mimi’s had booted us out because it was late and they were closing, just he, my sister and I stood talking outside my car until it was really late. Again, he was hilarious. But from the years I had to observe him and to learn about his family, I knew that he was also a really solid guy. Most importantly he was following the Lord. I felt a twinge of hope, and frankly, surprise.

A few days later I went out on a limb and texted him, asking if he wanted to play ultimate frisbee with some friends that day at a nearby park. It would be an hour drive for him after he got off work from his summer engineering internship, so I figured he wouldn’t come. But he made me feel fabulous for even thinking to invite him. “Are you kidding? Heck yes! I would LOVE to come!!” he responded. He came after work, we played frisbee, and afterward the two of us sat talking with our legs dangling in my parents pool late into the evening once again. The more I got to know him, the better I liked him.

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Dating. Hanging out at hubby’s college bachelor pad (notice the pool table in the background).

We went on to ‘hang out’ (a term we laugh at now, since we weren’t officially dating and didn’t really know what else to call it) almost daily until the day before he left for school that fall. In the meantime, we had been over to each other’s parents for dinners, he had come to the Fair with my family, and he had even taken me out on a special fancy dinner date with flowers in tow. He took his time to consider and get to know me before asking me to date. I’ve since learned he’s not one to make quick decisions, but he makes good decisions once he’s made up his mind. We agreed to date the day before he left for school.

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The day we decided to date. I was headed into work for the night and he was packing up to leave for school the very next day.

We were engaged the following spring on March 30, 2009, and married that August. He loves to say that “I was out of his league” (which is totally bogus) but ultimately he compliments me in the many ways that I am lacking. (And he’s much smarter than me, which is awesome.)

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August, 2009. Married to my best friend.

Six years have flown by. What a gift this guy is to me. I’m looking forward to many more anniversaries!

 Happy Anniversary to my man. I love you!

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Only a Month to Go! {Inducement Date Scheduled}

I had my 32 week appointment today with my OB as well as antenatal testing.

I found out that Kaiser doesn’t mess around when it comes to intrahepatic cholestasis in pregnancy. I’m being induced on 9/13, when I will be only 36 weeks and 2 days. I sort of expected my OB to say “This isn’t really a big deal, but as a precaution I guess we’ll induce you at 38 weeks.” Nope. They want this baby out before 37 weeks. At 37+ weeks, apparently, my bile acids could spike dangerously high at any given time and harm or even kill the baby. Scary.

While I feel relieved to not be worrying that my baby will die in utero, I’m fighting some fears today that she will be little. Really little (Josh was 6 pounds 13 oz at 39 weeks). And that maybe she might not nurse so hot right off the bat. That she might have some respiratory complications. Of course, there are many 36 weekers out there that eat and breathe like champs and act like grown up term babies. I’m praying that our little girl will be one of them!

The NST went really well and baby passed with flying colors. She had good movement and good heart rate. I have an anterior placenta so her movement is muffled a bit — I have to be paying attention most times to notice her movements. Baby was already in vertex cephalic position, which was awesome! (Now please stay that way, little girl!) The ultrasound showed excellent fluid levels and lots of fluid around her umbilical cord. The nurse was great and she felt like an old friend by the time I left. Another nurse came in and wanted to discuss my ultra-hot feet at night time and came up with 3 or 4 solutions for me to keep them cool. They took good care of me, and I’m grateful for that! I’m going to be spending lots of time with them before this baby comes.

The nurse then gave me a TdAp and I didn’t even feel it. Not even a pinch – nothing (I admit to looking for an injection site). I’m so thankful for this vaccine which will protect my baby from pertussis until her 2 month vaccines– given that she’ll be little and it will be the winter months by the time she gets her first round of vaccines.

In the exam room, my OB answered a lot of my questions today (I brought in a long list). Information she passed along to me:

  1. The medicine I’m on (Ursodiol) may or may not help decrease bile acid levels, but it should decrease the amount of itching I have.
  2. She will not be checking my bile acid levels again unless I have a major change of symptoms (i.e. I become jaundiced, etc). Since baby is being delivered early I am fine with that. Currently my liver enzymes are normal and the bile acids are just slightly elevated.
  3. She said that diet changes won’t help– but that it would be a different story if I had gall stones (which I don’t).
  4. They don’t know what causes Cholestasis in pregnancy, but they do know that there is a genetic component and that it’s related to hormones. Patient with twins and triplets are more likely to get it, as well as patients who went through IVF (increase in hormones = higher risk of cholestasis). Since no one else in my family has had this, I’m guessing that the IVF/embryo transfer is the culprit in our case.

I can’t believe our baby will be here in a month. I’m not even to that really uncomfortable pregnancy stage yet or feeling like it’s time for this baby to come out. As I process her early inducement date, I’m definitely feeling a mix of excitement and fear. I will be praying much over this next month for our little girl’s safety. Please pray with me!

Now off to get this toddler of mine to sleep for his nap. Teething has ruined his happy napping schedule!

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Baby #2 is Coming Early: Cholestasis of Pregnancy

As it turns out, this nesting craze wasn’t a fluke. Apparently my body knew I would need to be prepared to meet our little girl sooner than expected.

I found out today (at 31 weeks, 5 days along) that our little girl will be coming early. I have Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP). It’s basically a liver disorder in pregnancy that affects the bile flow from the liver. Instead of the bile flowing as it should, the bile acids back up into the mother’s blood steam. The condition can cause preterm labor, fetal distress, maternal hemorrhage, and stillbirth– so it’s considered a big deal. You can read more about it here. It should resolve on it’s own after the baby is delivered.

I had read about this disorder when I was pregnant with Josh, and even got tested for it at the time because I was dealing with majorly itchy skin. The labs they tested at the time were liver enzymes (AST/ALT) and bile acids. My lab results came back with normal results though, and I chalked it up to be a normal pregnancy ailment.

However, with this pregnancy my symptoms have been a little different. As I have written before, my hot feet at night time have been plaguing me for at least a month now. Last week I called the OB nurse and ran it by her, and, assuming that it was normal, I asked for ideas for home remedies. She said she had never heard of feet so hot in pregnancy that it prevented sleep, and neither had the other two OB’s she ran it by. They suggested that maybe it was some sort of neuropathy (that just occurred at nighttime?) in my feet and to follow up with my OB at my 32 week appt (I was not convinced at all that I had neuropathy in my feet, but since I felt dumb for calling in the first place I just basically put the thought out of my head immediately).

Two days after that phone call, the palms of my hands became incredibly itchy and kept me up for three nights in a row. I knew this was a symptom of ICP (itchy palms and soles of the feet — usually at nighttime — are the classic symptoms) and I had actually never had this symptom with my pregnancy with Josh. I debated (once again) calling to ask for labs to make sure I didn’t have ICP. I felt like a total hypochondriac (“Um, hi, it’s me again… yeah– still have hot feet and NOW I have itchy palms!” No thanks.) But the more I researched, the more I realized what a serious condition this was and I read one too many stories about how it caused stillbirth. So I decided to call, and since my OB was on vacation I left a message with the OB nurse specifically asking for an AST/ALT, and bile acid labs. They called me back and said that it was no problem and that the labs were ordered. I went and got labs drawn that day (yesterday).

Today, my liver enzymes came back normal but my bile acids came back elevated. I assumed I would just follow up with my OB at my appt on Friday but instead the OB nurse called me this afternoon and this is what she told me:

1. I have ICP, and it won’t be going away on it’s own until I have the baby. In fact, it will continue to get worse.

2. I need to start on medication (Actigall) right away to help the bile acids to flow better and not back up into my bloodstream. This doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk to the baby but it will make me less itchy.

3. I will need to start NST’s twice a week starting this Friday until the baby comes.

4. I will be induced early, probably 36-37 weeks (she wasn’t sure, but said my OB would clarify at my appt).

I have to admit, I was rather shocked. I was mentally prepared to see normal lab results posted to my chart and to go until 41+ weeks (itching like crazy) to have this baby. But now she will be coming in 4-5 weeks! Overall I have had a very comfortable pregnancy (as opposed to last time) and so it feels really strange to think about being induced early. Last time I was in so much pain that I would have given my right arm to be induced early!

The day was spent in a flurry of phone calls. Things like baby showers and out of town trips may need rescheduling. Hubby will need to be off work sooner than we thought. All I can say is, I’m glad that everything  is practically done in her nursery (thanks to my nesting instincts!).

In the meantime, please pray for our little girl– that the ICP will not harm her in any way. Please also pray she will do well respiratory-wise when she comes (I’m not anticipating any problems, but you never know). I’ll update again after my OB and NST appt on Friday.

This was from a few days ago. 31 weeks 3 days.

This was from a few days ago. 31 weeks 3 days.

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Nesting… It’s a Real Thing

The nesting has gotten out of control.

Just ask my husband. It’s not just setting up the nursery; it’s the whole house. “Hey,” I asked him, “Would you mind cleaning out all 4 filters in the vacuum cleaner to make sure that it’s working well? I need to vacuum the entire house, and soon.” He lovingly obliged (did I mention he got completely covered with dust doing that chore?) and I went on my merry vacuuming way.

Before that I asked for the ladder, so that I could clean the fans and light fixtures. It had been on my mental “to do” list for months, but some reason it needed to happen today. Right now. The house must be clean right now.

(Patient husbands are a gift from the Lord.)

Honestly though, who has their nursery all set up with clothes washed and folded in the dresser drawers by 31 1/2 weeks along? Okay, so maybe with a first child, but what about with their second?

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My cousin and my friend have definitely squared away all our baby girl clothes needs, that’s for sure. Thanks for the hand-me-downs! (That happen to all look brand new). And these are just the newborn size. I think there’s something like 50 pairs of socks and 21 sleepers. Didn’t count the onesies but I’m guessing there’s at least 25+. Insane. There will be less laundry happening this time, that’s for sure.

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I had hubby raise the crib and I made it up, even though I’ll have to wash the sheets again before she comes in two months. Also crazy. I must like creating more work for myself (*cough cough* … and for my husband).

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The ultrasound pics are attached and info is already filled out in her memory book.

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Car seat cover is washed and all ready to go ( it’s sitting in the closet, which is why the picture is from a strange angle). I even scrubbed the straps to make sure they’re crystal clean.

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Sheets and blankets ready to go. All of the pink linens were bought used for super cheap (the more gender neutral ones are left over from Josh).

Also got two freezer meals done today for after she comes. I have barely enjoyed cooking this pregnancy but (have I mentioned that) the nesting urge is strong! And somehow knowing what to expect helps motivate me as well. Last time I was in pretty good pain for 2-3 weeks after delivery and standing for longer than 5 minutes was a bit of a problem.

By this point in my pregnancy with Josh barely anything had been done. I was in too much pain to tackle projects. So I am thankful and excited to be able to get this kind of stuff done. Of course I don’t want her to come early, but if she does — at least we’ll be prepared!

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Josh’s New Toddler Room

We’re moving Josh into his toddler room soon (hopefully tomorrow!) and I’m really excited about how it turned out. This room used to be the office where my husband spent a lot of time finishing up his thesis. Then it morphed into an exercise/guest room when we purchased a used exercise bike for my husband (the bike has since broken and been given away for free) and we had a twin bed in there also that we left set up after my sister came to visit earlier this year when I was on bed rest. The bed and mattress was my parents so we gave that back to them once I started getting a bit closer to my due date. (Does that sound like nesting to anyone?!)

Of course it was a toddler room done on a budget — nothin’ fancy, with your basic low-end furniture — but it was fun to see it all come together and I’m happy with the result. Although I do feel like my decorating skills are (ahem) lacking somewhat, I still thought I’d be brave and share the details.

Josh's new toddler room.

Josh’s new toddler room.

Josh is no where near being ready for potty training (seeing as he’s barely walking or talking yet) and I really didn’t want to have two diaper changing tables in our house if I could avoid it. I happened to already have the 2×2 cube in this room from when the room was an office (and it was basically not doing anything purposeful — I think my husband had some batteries in one bin and we had paper designated to be shredded in another). When I was at a friend’s house a while back, I saw that she just used a 2×4 cube to put her changing mattress on and was able to buckle it to the cube. She said she wished she had figured that trick out sooner (before her third kid) as it was so multi-functional. So I found a used changing mattress in perfect condition for $5 and decided to go that route.

The curtains are darkening curtains and from Ikea. I think they were $25-$30 for the set. Such a great deal for darkening curtains!

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I bought this crib new from Ikea. It was on sale for $69.99, and also converts into a toddler bed. It’s basic in it’s look and design, and I liked that! I’m a little particular about mattresses, so I splurged and bought Ikea’s second most expensive mattress (I think it was $90).  I’ll be transferring over Josh’s crib bumper from his current crib tomorrow since he’s very attached to the ribbon adhering the bumpers to the crib. 😉

The planet decals were bought off of Amazon for $16. I washed the wall with warm water and Lysol before I put the decals up. My husband and I were both thrilled with how it turned out! Each piece (planet, name, star, etc) is a separate sticker. I hope it stays adhered to the wall! Time will tell. My husband loves astronomy and can’t wait to start teaching Josh about it (for the record he would not let me put up Pluto since we now know it’s not a ‘real’ planet anymore).

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I think I mentioned this in a previous post, but this was Ikea’s cheapest 3-drawer dresser. I think it was $50. I spent another $12 for the hardware pulls (also from Ikea — probably could have gotten them much cheaper at Walmart) and my hubby drilled holes and screwed them in. He always does a really nice job putting together furniture so the tracks line up really nicely with the drawers. If you haven’t read about it in the news, it’s being recommended that Ikea dressers be adhered to the wall because there have been a number of child deaths from furniture tipping over on them (not necessarily just Ikea furniture). So incredibly sad! My hubby adhered it to the wall last night– glad to have that off of my mind now!

The lamp is leftover from when the room was an office and it also Ikea. It’s more modern and not very toddler-like, so if I see something cheap and cute for sale used I might get that and give this lamp to my sister.

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Etsy has some really great Bible verse printables for $5. This one is Psalm 27:1 — you can find it here. It takes about 2 seconds to purchase and print these on your home printer! I bought the frame today at Ikea — I had wanted to find a basic frame for $2, but they didn’t have one in the right size. This one was on sale for $7.

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My camera wasn’t cooperating at all here, but this little toddler chair was on sale for $40 on Amazon. When Josh first discovered it in his room he went right in and sat on it and read books for ten minutes! It’s a blue and white gingam pattern. I see pottery barn’s ‘anywhere chair’ for toddlers for sale used all the time, but they are usually pretty dirty/stained and still priced around $40. We’ll see how this one holds up (for the record, this chair has a 75 pound limit and the first thing my husband did when he got home from work was sit down in it while exclaiming “I fit!” So if the chair breaks early we’ll know why, hehe).

The monkey picture and frame were cheap purchases from Ikea–I can’t remember how much they cost but I’m guessing less than $5 for both the print and frame. The Peter Rabbit motif is from his baby shower that his Mimi and Auntie threw for him. The play tent is also from Ikea and was $20. He loves that thing and sits inside it all the time! He especially loves it when we sit in it with him, but it’s getting exceptionally hard to crawl in and out of there being pregnant.

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This is just a cheap clock I bought at Ikea for $6. I like to know what time it is when it comes to having little ones!

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Lastly, just a picture of the bins, also from Ikea. These weren’t cheap ($17 each) but have held up beautifully and were worth the cost. Toddlers do not always feel like being gentle or careful with their belongings!

Thanks for reading and sharing in my excitement about Josh’s new room today! We’ll see how long it looks this clean…

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If I Only Had A Brain

In my opinion, there are two major categories that coincide with pregnancy. One is insomnia. The other is forgetfulness (affectionately termed “prego brain.”) This week, I’ve been dealing with both and instead of sleeping I’m up eating a bowl of cereal and putting these rambling thoughts down on paper. (And to spare you the nuisance I’m also avoiding making a dumb forgetful memory joke, because, come on — that would just be a little too unoriginal right now.)

I worked last night at the hospital and it’s becoming apparent to me that my memory has become quite bad. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure if it’s because I haven’t worked much over the past year or if it’s pregnancy affecting this noggin’ of mine, or what? My husband claims it’s pregnancy, but it’s getting kind of pathetic at work. Someone will ask me a question: “Hey, where do we keep _____?” (fill in the blank with some random medical item), or, “How do I change out this drainage chamber?” or {insert pretty much any nursing/work related question}. I find myself standing there, scratching my head, saying “Gee, I used to know the answer to that, but I totally forgot!” I feel like a complete moron most of the time! And it’s just not happening at work, either. In fact, I made a list of all the things I need to accomplish in the next ten weeks (before the baby comes) because from day to day I completely forget what those things are. My husband has always lamented that he has a terrible memory but announced that he’s happy that the playing field is finally leveled while I’m pregnant–ha! All I can say is that I sure hope my memory decides to reinhabit my body after the baby comes!

As for sleep, when I got off last night I managed to sleep for 3.5 broken up hours. I can’t even blame Josh, who has been sleeping 12-13 hours through the night uninterrupted for weeks now (we’re soaking it in before the baby comes!). Last week, I had probably 4 nights in a row where I averaged 3-4 hours of sleep a night. But the week before that I slept pretty well. Pregnancy insomnia comes in waves for me and thankfully it comes and goes (well, it’s mostly just comes toward the end of the third trimester). I don’t tend to stress about the lack of sleep, but this morning I really wanted to make it to church and wasn’t sure how that would happen on such little sleep. Thanks be to God, (and to my husband who pulled most of the pieces together to get our toddler and the 59 other toddler items we needed like snacks, water bottle, extra diapers/wipes, toys, etc, out the door) we actually made it on time (for once) and I downed my daily allotment of coffee on the way which helped. So, not much sleep happening here, but thankfully we’re still getting on with life fairly well.

Aside from poor memory and sleep, another issue I’ve been battling these days has been feeling poorly about my appearance. Being pregnant this time around has revealed to me my issues with vanity. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I am way bigger this time around. I have found myself not wanting to even go out in public as I feel like a spectacle to watch and also dread people’s questions and comments. Another coworker last night saw my belly and basically asked if I was due any day (I have ten weeks to go). I’ve never had to work hard to maintain (or really even to lose) weight. I eat moderately but have never dieted. For my entire life, my figure has pretty much been on auto-pilot. But now the pounds are adding up and it freaks me out a little more than I care to admit. The comments about my size bother me more than I’d like to share, also. Someone the other day lightheartedly joked that I had a serious “eating problem” and even though I know he was joking and that it was just his way of saying “you’re pregnant!” I just couldn’t seem to get the comment out of my head. The result is that the Lord has revealed pride and fear in me — which I have at times allowed to suck away my joy in preparing for this baby girl. It’s awful and I have repented of it. But I still struggle, and I think I will continue to do so until I deem that my ‘size’ appropriately fits whatever gestational ‘week’ I am in (which is silly and not helpful at all).

Lastly, I am struggling in knowing how to reach out to friends who are currently walking through infertility. This may seem crazy, given the years of infertility we went through, or it may seem very plausible given that we have a 16 month old son and are expecting baby #2 soon. I want to reach out, to bless if I can … but I don’t want to be the cause of more tears (pregnant women, pregnancy announcements, and baby showers are almost always a trigger for women going through infertility). In some ways our ‘story’ is encouraging and offers hope to those who are facing infertility. But it depends on one’s perspective and, ultimately, one’s trust in the Lord — that He is sufficient whether one has several children or none. In the meantime, I’m asking the Lord for wisdom and planning for now to reach out. We’ll see how it goes.

Thanks for reading my sleep deprived thoughts. I plan to update again next week at 32 weeks!

 

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